Weather Summary: Over the last seven days, a couple of winter storm systems moved across the United States, bringing much-needed precipitation to some of the drought areas. Widespread areas of an inch or more of precipitation occurred across the East and parts of the Midwest, with locally 2-plus inches of rain.
The drought depiction was improved where the heaviest precipitation occurred, but generally the precipitation this week was not enough to ease long-term deficits. Half an inch to an inch of precipitation fell over parts of the Rockies and intermountain basin. Two inches to over 5 inches of precipitation occurred over much of the West Coast, but generally not over drought areas.
No precipitation was observed over parts of the southern Plains, northern High Plains, Upper Midwest and southern Florida.
Looking Ahead: Below-normal temperatures should dominate much of the country as an upper-level trough digs in over the next five days (Dec. 26-30), continuing an active weather pattern with multiple winter storm systems. Precipitation amounts are forecast to be less than an inch across most of the West (except 1.0-1.5 inches along the coast) and parts of the Southeast, but 1.0-2.5 inches from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast. A swath of half-inch precipitation may blanket the northern Plains, but otherwise the Plains should be mostly dry.
The CPC 6-10 day and 8-14 day forecasts (for Jan. 1-9) show a return of above-normal temperatures to the north central region, continued below-normal temperatures in the Southwest, and below-normal temperatures in the East slowly shifting to the Northeast.
Precipitation is expected to be above normal from the southern Plains to Mid-Atlantic states and in the eastern Great Lakes, while the forecast favors below-normal precipitation for much of the West, northern to central Plains, Upper Midwest and New England. Alaska is expected to be warmer and wetter than normal.